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Malaysian national team footballer, Faisal Halim, who fell victim to an acid attack is currently in a "critical but stable" condition on Tuesday, with fourth-degree burns necessitating further surgery, according to a football official speaking to AFP.

The 26-year-old sustained burns to his neck, shoulders, hands, and chest in the Petaling Jaya district, located outside the capital Kuala Lumpur, over the weekend. Known as "Mickey," the footballer competes as a right winger for both Selangor Football Club and his country.

"I am at the hospital. Faisal's condition is a bit critical but stable," Football Association of Selangor deputy president Shahril Mokhtar told the news outlet. He mentioned that initially, Faisal was diagnosed with second-degree burns. However, after being transferred to another hospital, a plastic surgeon reclassified the injuries as fourth-degree burns.

Shahril mentioned that Faisal would undergo additional surgery, noting that his mobility and speech had been impacted. "We are shocked and disappointed that such an attack happened in Malaysia. My concern is also about the mental health of the other players since the new season begins on Friday," he said.

Selangor Football Club CEO Johan Kamal Hamidon stated that security measures have been increased for the players, officials, and staff of the club, but he declined to provide further details. Selangor state police chief Hussein Omar Khan informed reporters that investigations into the motive behind the attack are ongoing, and confirmed the arrest of two suspects.

Malaysian footballer Halim was involved in an acid attack in his country's capital, Kuala Lumpur. GETTY IMAGES
Malaysian footballer Halim was involved in an acid attack in his country's capital, Kuala Lumpur. GETTY IMAGES

A widely circulated photo online depicted a visibly stunned Faisal, shirtless and seated on a bench, bearing burn marks on his upper body. The acid attack occurred three days following an incident where another national team player, Akhyar Rashid, was injured in a robbery outside his residence in the eastern state of Terengganu.

Azli Mohamad Noor, the police chief of Kuala Terengganu, stated that the two incidents were not connected. Hamidin Mohamad Amin, the president of the Football Association of Malaysia, advised prominent footballers to prioritise their personal safety by considering measures such as hiring bodyguards.

"If you are a big player, you can consider what the overseas footballers are doing, which is to get a bodyguard," he was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper.